Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Questions and answers about:

Further information on online registration and registration in general is available on the Elections Canada Main website (link opens in a new window)


  • Using a public computer

    What should I do to protect my personal information?
    Clear your cache after online transactions to make sure personal information isn't stored on your computer. Here are examples of how to do this:
    In Firefox, go to Library, History Menu or History Menu > Clear Recent History ( depending on version of firefox )
    In Internet Explorer, Go to Tools > Delete Browsing History
    In Chrome, go to the wrench icon in the top right hand corner. Under the Bonnet > Clear Browsing Data
    In Safari, go to Safari > Empty Cache > Empty
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  • forms

    I was not offered the option of using a form. What should I do?
    Once a federal election underway, you can register to vote by contacting your local Elections Canada office. If you must go in person, remember to bring acceptable proof of identity and address (link opens in a new window) with you. You can find your local office through the Voter Information Service (link opens in a new window). If you need help, contact Elections Canada Headquarters at 1-800-463-6868.
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  • Your results

    I'm having trouble using the online voter registration service. What should I do?
    Here are a few possible reasons:
    You moved recently: If you are registered but have moved recently, the online service may not recognize your new address. The results screen will show this message: "Double-check your address". Follow these steps to update your address:
    1. Click on "go back to the Enter information screen" and enter your old address. If the service finds you, it will say you are registered and give you this message: "Need to update your address?"
    2. Click on "Update your home or mailing address here" to enter your new address.
    You need to re-enter your address: It's possible that you made a typing mistake or entered information in the wrong field (for example, unit instead of suffix). The results screen will show this message: "Double-check your address". You can click on "go back to the Enter information screen" to review and resubmit your information.
    Address type: When you use the online service to check (confirm) that you are registered to vote, you can select from the following address formats:
    1. Civic or street address (for example, 123 Main Street),
    2. Lot and concession,
    3. Section-Township-Range-Meridian,
    4. I have a different address type - a non-standard address where this is no street number and/or street name (note: the online service will only confirm your registration at this address type if you enter the exact address information we have on file).
    When you register yourself or change your address online, the option “I have a different address type“ does not exist.
    You have never registered before: If you've never registered yourself in a federal election before, the online service results screen will show the message "You can complete your registration online now" OR "Upload your identification documents to register".
    You changed your name: If you've recently changed your name (e.g. after getting married), the service may not recognize your new one. You can't update your name online. To find out what to do, please read the next point "If you cannot register or make updates online".
    If you cannot register or make updates online: If you are having trouble registering yourself online or you need to make an update that cannot be completed online:
    After an election is called – You can register or make an update in person at your local Elections Canada office or at your polling place when you go to vote. Find out where and when to vote and what ID to bring.
    I submitted my address correction or registration request online. Will you send further confirmation that my request has been accepted?
    If you'd like to check if your update has been accepted, you can revisit the Online Voter Registration Service at a later date and check if you are registered at the correct address.

    If you made a registration request using the online identification document submission feature, you were given a registration request reference number in your result message. If you shared your email address, you also received an email with the same reference number.

    If your registration request has been rejected and you shared your email address with us, we will send you an email explaining why we did not accept your request and asking you to submit your request again.
    If you have not received an email from us and you want to check if your request has been accepted, please visit the Online Voter Registration Service at a later date. Select the link Check the status of your request and enter the registration request reference number you were given when you submitted your request.

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  • Driver’s licence

    Why do you ask for my driver's licence number or provincial/territorial ID card number?
    We use your driver's licence number or provincial/territorial ID card number to ensure that we update the record for the correct person on the National Register of Electors with the data you entered. Elections law allows Elections Canada to collect the following provincial and territorial data:
    • - name
    • - address
    • - date of birth
    • - gender
    • - driver's licence number
    • - provincial/territorial ID card number
    What if I don't have a driver's licence or provincial/territorial ID card?
    Most people won't require a driver's licence or provincial/territorial ID card to use this site. If your request requires a card that you do not have, there are other ways to register:
    Online: Use the online document submission feature of the Online Voter Registration Service to upload other accepted identity documents.
    Your local Elections Canada office: If there's a federal election or by-election underway in your electoral district, you can register by contacting your local Elections Canada office. If you go there in person, remember to bring acceptable proof of identity and address. You can find your local office through the Voter Information Service.
    There are many different documents you can choose to submit to prove your identity and address. See the full list here. If you need assistance, contact Elections Canada Headquarters at 1-800-463-6868.
    Why don't you accept all driver's licences or provincial/territorial ID cards?
    Due to information sharing agreements, the online voter registration service has access to:
    driver's licence data from all provinces and territories except Quebec
    provincial/territorial ID card data from Alberta, Newfoundland and Labrador, Saskatchewan and Yukon.
    How do you keep my driver's licence and provincial/territorial ID card information safe?
    Driver's licence and provincial/territorial ID card numbers are encrypted before being transmitted electronically, keeping the number confidential. Also, physical safeguards and firewalls protect the servers where the data is stored.
    If I update my voter registration address here, must I also contact the drivers' bureau to update my address with them? Will the change be made automatically?
    You must contact your drivers' licence bureau directly to update your address with them. Elections Canada does not provide any data to drivers' licence bureaus.
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  • Information sharing

    Does Elections Canada share my information?
    Elections Canada provides voter registration information to the elections agencies of British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, Nunavut and Northwest Territories. The information shared includes:
    • - name
    • - address
    • - date of birth
    • - gender
    Sharing voter registration information improves the accuracy of lists of electors and reduces costs. This information is shared in accordance with the Canada Elections Act and provincial and territorial laws.
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  • Vote by mail

    I've submitted my application. What happens now?
    We will review your application as soon as possible; this process can take up to 72 hours from the time we receive your application.
    If you submitted your application by mail:
    Consider the time it will take for your application to arrive at Elections Canada.
    If you submitted your application online:
    You can check the status of your application here, using the reference number provided at the end of the application process.

    If your application is approved, a special ballot voting kit will be mailed to the address you provided.

    Your voting kit will include:
    a special ballot
    an outer envelope and an inner envelope
    a return envelope with prepaid postage
    instructions on how to mark the special ballot and return it to Elections Canada

    Please call your local Elections Canada office immediately if any of these items are missing or the information on the outer envelope is incorrect.

    For voters living in Canada

    Kits are mailed using Canada Post's general letter mail service. It may take several days for you to receive your kit, depending on your location.

    Plan ahead to ensure there is enough time for your ballot to reach you and for it to return to Elections Canada by election day. Check your kit for information on the return address for your ballot and for specifics on the election-day deadline.

    For Canadian voters living abroad

    Ballots may take longer to arrive depending on the postal system in the country where you are located.

    Plan ahead to ensure there is enough time for your ballot to reach you and for you to return it to Elections Canada in Ottawa by election day, 6:00 p.m., Eastern time.

    By law, we cannot accept late application forms or count late ballots.

    It has been 72 hours. I checked the status of my online application, but there is no update. What can I do?

    If you applied to vote by mail and your status has not been updated after 72 business hours, please call Elections Canada at 1-800-463-6868 for additional information on your vote-by-mail application.   

    How do I vote using my voting kit?

    When you vote by mail, you will receive a voting kit containing a special ballot.   

    Special ballots don't have a list of candidates to choose from. Instead, there is a blank space for you to write the name of the candidate you're voting for. The final list of candidates will be available after nominations close, three weeks before election day. 

    Follow the instructions in your kit and mail your ballot back to Elections Canada as soon as possible. Remember: Your ballot must arrive at Elections Canada by the deadline indicated on your voting kit.  

    See detailed information about voting by special ballot.  

    How do I return my completed special ballot?

    Your voting kit includes a postage-paid return envelope.  Simply drop the envelope containing your completed kit into any mailbox or bring it to a Canada Post retail postal outlet to be returned to Elections Canada.  There is no cost—you do not need to add a stamp.  

    It may take several days for your mailed ballot be delivered. Please refer to Canada Post's delivery standard calculator to ensure there is enough time for your ballot to reach Elections Canada by the deadline indicated in your kit. 

    If you prefer, you can use an expedited parcel service, at your own cost. 

    You can also deliver your completed special ballot, in person, to your local Elections Canada office, but remember, your ballot must arrive at the address specified in your voting kit by election day. If the address in your kit is not the address of your local Elections Canada office, consider the time it will take for your ballot to get from your local office to its final destination.  

    Can I track my ballot?

    If you use the postage-paid envelope included in your kit, you will not have the option to track your ballot.   

    If you prefer, at your own cost, you can use an expedited parcel service that provides a tracking option.   

    Can I request a replacement voting kit?

    You may be eligible for a replacement kit, if you: 

    - made an error marking your ballot 

    - received a damaged or incomplete voting kit, or  

    - received a voting kit with incorrect information 

    If you need a replacement kit, don't wait. Contact Elections Canada at 1-800-463-6868 before 6:00 p.m. on the Tuesday before election day.   

    What safeguards are in place to make voting by mail secure?

    Canada's federal vote-by-mail system includes several security features. Election Canada uses paper ballots, which are counted by hand and, if required, re-examined and audited. Each returned ballot is kept sealed until mandatory checks are completed. Learn more about these and other safeguards

    How do I know that Elections Canada received my completed ballot?

    Elections Canada will not proactively contact you to confirm that we received your ballot.  

    If you have questions about the status of your ballot, you can call 1-800-463-6868. Remember that your ballot may be in the mail system for several days. Elections Canada can only confirm the status of your ballot once it has arrived and been processed. 

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  • Move date/By-election residency requirements

    Why do you ask when I moved to my new address?

    Your move date may affect your eligibility to vote in a by-election. To be allowed to vote in a riding's by-election, you must live in that electoral district at the beginning of the revision period and still be living in that riding on election day. This usually means that you have been living at your current address for at least 33 days before election day. If you are unsure about whether you meet these requirements, please contact the returning officer in your electoral district. They will tell you whether you are allowed to vote in the by-election. During an election, You can use the Voter Information Service (link opens in a new window) to get contact information for your returning officer.

    Remember: Under elections law, it is illegal to vote if you do not meet the requirements.

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  • Identification Document Upload

    My documents are too large to upload. How do I reduce the file size?
    PDF format: Recreate the PDF using the "lowest file size" option available. If you have images, save them with a resolution of 96 DPI (dots per inch). Remove all unnecessary images. You may find file size and image options under the advanced settings section of the software you are using.
    JPG format: Scan your document at a lower resolution (96 DPI). Try removing all empty space around the image. Shrink the image. Reduce the JPG image quality.
    TIFF and PNG format: Scan your document at a lower resolution (96 DPI). Shrink or crop the image to remove any empty space around it. Save the file in JPG format instead.
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  • List of accepted identification documents

    What document can I upload?

    1) Upload one of these pieces of ID
    • your driver's licence
    • your provincial or territorial ID card
    • any other government card with your name, photo and current address

    OR

    2) Upload two pieces of ID
    At least one must have your current address
    • health card
    • Canadian passport
    • birth certificate
    • certificate of Canadian citizenship
    • Canadian citizenship card
    • Indian status card
    • band membership card
    • Métis card
    • card issued by an Inuit local authority
    • old age security card
    • hospital card
    • medical clinic card
    • student identity card
    • library card
    • liquor identity card
    • parolee card
    • firearms licence
    • licence or card issued for fishing, trapping or hunting

    • utility bill (e.g. electricity; water; telecommunications services including telephone, cable or satellite)
    • bank statement
    • credit union statement
    • credit card statement
    • employee card
    • government statement of benefits
    • government cheque or cheque stub
    • letter from a public curator, public guardian or public trustee
    • pension plan statement
    • residential lease or sub-lease
    • mortgage contract or statement
    • income tax assessment
    • property tax assessment or evaluation
    • vehicle ownership
    • insurance certificate, policy or statement
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  • Additional Information

    Need more information?
    You can find general information on online registration and registration on the Elections Canada main website (link opens in a new window).
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